Meta Platforms, the owner of social media network Facebook, is behind a $60 million deal to acquire the trademark assets of US regional bank Meta Financial Group, spokespeople for the companies said.
The deal underscores how valuable the Meta name has become for the technology giant, which is betting that its focus on the metaverse – shared digital spaces accessed via the internet through an array of devices – will pay off handsomely in the coming years.
Meta Financial had said in regulatory filing that a Delaware company called Beige Key agreed to acquire the worldwide rights to its company names for $60m in cash. It did not disclose who the owner of Beige Key was.
"Beige Key is affiliated with us and we have acquired these trademark assets," a Meta Platforms spokesperson said. A MetaBank spokesperson also confirmed Meta Platforms' involvement.
As well as offering products through its MetaBank subsidiary, including consumer savings, loans and credit cards, and commercial lending, Meta Financial partners with institutions including government agencies and financial technology firms to offer banking services with the aim of bolstering financial inclusion.
Facebook said in October its parent company had changed its name to Meta Platforms. The tech giant, which has invested heavily in virtual reality and augmented reality, sees the metaverse as the successor to mobile internet.
Last week, Meta Platforms opened up its previously invite-only Horizon Worlds app, where users of its Quest virtual reality headsets can play games and interact as avatars, to over-18 users in the US and Canada.
The metaverse concept, which has cropped up on several Silicon Valley companies' earnings calls and which will require co-operation among tech giants, could be more than a decade away from being fully realised.
The Meta Platforms spokesperson said the company engaged in discussions with Meta Financial before Facebook's name change was announced.
In the filing, Meta Financial said it had embarked on a brand strategy review earlier this year, but the MetaBank spokesperson declined to comment on the negotiations beyond the contents of the filing.